Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flying Pencil

Here are some images of Monograms's 1/48 scale Dornier DO 217 E-4. From Wikipedia "

The Dornier Do 217 was a bomber used by German Luftwaffe during World War II as a more powerful version of the Dornier Do 17, known as the Fliegender Bleistift (German: "flying pencil"). Designed in 1937 and 1938 as a heavy bomber, its design was refined during 1939 and production began in late 1940. It entered service in early 1941 and by the beginning of 1942 was available in significant numbers. The Dornier Do 217 had a much larger bomb load capacity and had much greater range than the Do 17. In later variants, dive bombing and maritime strike capabilities using glide bombs were explored in depth with considerable success in the later role. Early Do 217 variants were more powerful than the Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88, having a greater speed, range and bomb load. Owing to this it was designated a heavy bomber rather than a medium bomber. The Do 217 served on all fronts in all roles. On the Eastern Front and Western Front it operated as a strategic bomber, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It also performed tactical functions, either direct ground assault or anti-shipping strikes during the Battle of the Atlantic and Battle of Normandy. The Do 217 was also converted to become a night fighter and saw considerable action in the Defense of the Reich campaign until the last day of the war.

The type also served in anti-shipping units in the Mediterranean, attacking Allied Convoys and Sea power during the campaign. It was in the Mediterranean that the Do 217 became the first aircraft in military aviation history to deploy a form of precision-guided munition, in the form of the Fritz-X radio-guided, free-fall bomb in combat which led to the sinking of the Italian battleship Roma in 1943. After the end of the war, at least one Dornier Do 217 continued in active military operational service with the Swiss Air Force until 1946.

The E series was the initial major production variant, based on V9 prototype, and powered by two BMW 801 radial engines. Deepened fuselage with larger bomb-bay, entered production in 1940. The V9 had been planned as the prototype for the E-1 variant. The V9 had a fixed MG 151 with 250 rounds of ammunition while the MG 204 was to be installed in the nose. The type was fitted with a dummy run of Lofte 7 and BZA 1 bombing systems. The main armament was to be a single torpedo of either SD 1000 or SC 1700 standard. When the mock up had been given the green light for technical development construction began in the spring, 1940. During September 1940 engine vibration problems were experienced but fixed quickly. During flight tests it was discovered the air brake caused a speed loss of 2 metres per second (4.5 mph). The V9 underwent heavy tests and was withdrawn to Rechlin where it acted as a prototype until at least October 1943. During this time it also had trials with BMW 801A-1 and BMW 801D engines.

The E-0 was a pre-production bomber/reconnaissance version of Do 217E. It was powered by BMW 801A engines and armed with one forward firing 15 mm MG 151 cannon and five 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns on gimbal mounts. Entered production and service in late 1940. Continued development led to the Do 217 E-1. The Do 217 E-1 first flew on 1 October 1940. Full production level bomber/reconnaissance variant, similar to the E-0, and followed it into production and service in late 1940. Some 94 built. Additional armament consisted of a 20mm cannon fitted in the nose. It power plants were BMW 801s of 1,560 PS (1,539 horsepower (1,148 kW)). The aircraft could carry 16 SC 50 or one SC 1800 bomb. Alternatively, it could carry a load of two LMW aerial mines or one torpedo. The E-2 could carry three mines.

In late 1940, testing under operational conditions began. By March 1941, 37 217s had been built and test flown. Many of the E-1 variants, now being built in increasing numbers, were selected for conversion to the new improved fighter variants; the planned 217H, P and R series. A large number and these 'fighter/bomber' aircraft were put through severe testing runs between July and September 1941. Dornier was able to gain valuable knowledge for the future improvement of the armament and bomb jettisoning systems. Of the first six prototypes, two (the third and sixth) were delivered to operational units. The third, Wrk Nr. 1003 was lost on 22 May 1941 (at Rechlin) and 1006, the sixth prototype, was severely damaged on 11 April 1941 whilst with Kampfgeschwader 40.

The E-2 was designated as a level and dive bomber, fitted with tail-mounted dive brake. It was powered by BMW 801L engines and armed with forward firing 15 mm MG 151, single MG 131 machine gun in dorsal turret, MG-131 in ventral step and three MG-15 machine guns. The E-2 entered production slightly later than the E-3 level bomber, and was produced in parallel, a total of 185 being built and entering service from summer 1941.


Pablo J. Álvarez said...

Monogram, you are lucky to find it.
Great model and however...well done.

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Pablo - If there is one kit manufacturer we get a lot of around here is Revell/Monogram.